COVID19 & LAND

The experiences of ILC members have already shown that the current crisis has a direct impact on land rights.

4 ACTIONS TO ENSURE LAND RIGHTS FOR ALL DURING THE PANDEMIC

ACTION 1


PROTECT LAND RIGHTS AND MEDIATE CONFLICTS AS PRESSURE GROWS ON LAND

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There is an immediate need to protect land as land rights are under siege and land conflicts on the rise. This is due to:

» reverse migration from returning workers, especially of men from urban back to rural areas (affecting women disproportionally), increasing competition for land;

» rise in land grabbing and forced evictions, in particular due to increased policed societies (combined with lower media and international attention); and

» weakened enforcement/accountability measures, due to lockdowns, to guarantee land rights.

ACTION 2


ENSURE ACCESS TO LAND TO MAINTAIN THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC FABRICS, TO ALLOW REINTEGRATION OF RETURNING WORKERS AND TO RECOVER AFTER LOCKDOWN

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Re-establishing access to land, productive resources, markets and support services are necessary to secure livelihoods while revitalising food systems, re-building economic activities and creating labour opportunities,

necessary for maintaining healthy socio‑economic environments and the reintegration of returning workers and youth.

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ACTION 3


MONITOR AND PROVIDE LEGAL PROTECTIONS AGAINST LAND-RELATED VIOLATIONS

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In a context of lockdown, vulnerable populations, in particular indigenous peoples and local communities as well as Land and Environmental Defenders, are particularly exposed to threats, attacks and cases of harassment.

Among these, threats affecting women are very specific and more severe hence requiring specific attention. Monitoring these incidences is necessary in order to document the nature of these events and provide targeted legal support, particularly at a time when civic space is reduced and access to resources (legal and financial) is limited.

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ACTION 4


PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES' TERRITORIES

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The inability to protect their territories makes Indigenous Peoples and local communities particularly vulnerable. Contamination by the virus in local territories – particularly those of Indigenous Peoples–could significantly weaken their ability to defend their land and natural resources.

In addition, the capacity for emergency services to respond to local communities at risk, is reduced by the demands of battling the epidemic.